Day in, day out, I got asked by strangers, readers and prospects – “What do I do on daily basis as independent financial adviser?” Is it by being not tied to any products providers but instead representing customers in sourcing the most suitable products is sufficient to solve people’s problems? No. Instead, to be in this position, you must have one belief. This one core belief will drive one towards what he or she wants to do in life. This one core belief will also form the foundation for other beliefs. These are the beliefs:
- Everyone deserves a chance to achieve that comfortable retirement
- Everyone deserves a shot to optimize what they have and accumulate wealth in their journey
- Everyone deserves the knowledge to effectively protect their wealth during the accumulation process
- Everyone deserves the help to plan and distribute their assets according to their wishes after they pass on, preventing any disputes
Coming back to to questions – “what is it that I do?”, it boils down to this one simple phrase – “Solving life’s mathematical equations.”
Don’t you agree life is a collection of ever changing and often conflicting financial goals? If life were so simple as just having one financial goal (for example, retirement), this mathematical problem is as simple as 1 plus 1 equals 2. Simple and straightforward. Everyone can do some extrapolations, and working backwards some figures using a simple retirement calculator – walla! You would have a financial roadmap laid out in front of you. No need for any financial adviser.
But the complexities come when we desire more things in life. It is not wrong, in fact it is normal. We want the best for our children education – which is really, the major dent to any parents’ finances. We also want to go for that dream vacation, purchase our dream house, etc. And at times, life throws us a curve ball that not only “dents” us emotionally but financially as well – like, chronic illnesses.
Now, the roadmap to our ultimate goal – comfortable retirement, doesn’t appear as straightforward as we have thought, aye?
To complicate matters, there are external factors beyond our control that also comes into our life equation – the likes of inflation, fiscal policy, monetary policy, bull cycle, bear cycle.
What about retrenchment? It is pretty common nowadays, yes?
With all these variables, how is our roadmap going to look like? From a simple 1+1=2, this has ballooned up to a complex calculus equation.
Can you solve this on your own?
Or would you want to solve this at all or just let things run its own course?
More often than not, unlike a true mathematical problem, there is NO right or wrong answers when solving life equations. It depends on which area you are willing to adjust and compromise. For example, delaying retirement age or lowering post retirement lifestyle expenses.
Don’t you agree money is a sensitive subject? We deal with it everyday in our adult life but we tend to avoids talking about the bad sides of it. In the end, money is just money, but in actuality, our emotions are at stake. We are depressed when we have less money, and are in the highs when we have more money.
To reduce this emotional volatility, the same way we wants to reduce volatility in our investments, is to have a financial roadmap described above. Let me give you an analogy if today, you have an abdomen pain, you and your family will worry day and night, right? Your emotions will be affected. So what you do?
You would be willing to fork out money to do medical checkup. Now, the outcome of this might be good or bad. Good is the doctor might tell you – it’s just indigestion problem and will go away in a week’s time. Bad is you have cancer. Either way, you know what to do from now on instead of guessing.
Ultimately, it is about:
Having a peace of mind (and if not, knowing what to do next)
Having more clarity
Increasing the odds of success
Making more informed financial decisions
Living more confidently